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Future Cities: Shaping Europe from the bottom up

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The 2016 edition of EUobserver's Regions & Cities magazine looks at the cities of the future in Europe. While the EU is grappling with challenging problems - Brexit, migration, the economy, terrorism, to name a few - many European cities are reinventing themselves and tackling these problems in their own way.

With 80 percent of EU

With 80 percent of EU nationals soon to live in towns, questions on ideal cities are more pressing than ever, but for some - London, a European model - is making mistakes based on old utopias. By Andrew Re ttman uropean town planners st ill borrow from the “gar arden city” ideals of the 19th cen entu tury ry, but they mig ight be do ing more harm than good. Wh en Syr ian refu fuge geeses in the Zaat atarar i camp in Jordan los t ho pe of go g ing ho me , they rea earr rran ange ged UN con tain iner s to mak e cour ty ar ds, wher e they put pl ants ts, runn nnin ing wa ter, and son g bird rds. Bein ing cl ose to nat atur ure is one of th e ol dest hum an Herculaneum in Ita taly, had gard rdens. The Rom oman writer Martial als lso talk lked abo bout “ru rus in urb rbe” e”, mean anin ing “count ntrysi side in town ”, the idea th at a good city had natural el ements. THE LOND ON MODEL larg rgest and fast est grow owin ing ci ty, has for a long tim ime acted as a mod odel for oth ther tow owns in cont inen enta tal Euro rope. The Engl is h word “pa para radi se” co me s from a Per sian word mea eani ning ng “en encl os ed gar den” . Th e earl rliest Eur urop opea ean ci ti es, as see een in mur al s in It has preserved man y gr ee n spaces es: cour tyard ga rdens an d roya yal park rks in the cen entr tre and a “green en belt lt” ar ound its cor e. In one new pr ojec t, a pri va te 12 — FUTURE CITIES OCTOBER 2016 Art ist s' impres essio sio nof fG Gard aden bri dge ge, to ob be eb uilt by 201 8- a "pe perve rsi on" of Wi lliam li Mor ris ? Photo to: ga rde nbr brid idge.l el ond on

Thames. London School of Economics (LSE), the green belt is making life harder for ordinary residents. He noted that most of the belt, which measures more than 2,000 hectares, is privately owned and closed privately owned and closed to the public. centre is being emptied because ordinary people BANLIEUE CITY “It will become a 'banlieue' city like Paris, with tourist sites at its heart and working class people who have alongside middle class people.” He said the Garden bridge was a “perversion” of utopian visions. driven up property prices, forcing ordinary people out and making their lives harder. The EU estimates that there are 34 million urban urban areas creates “huge welfare losses”. “To try to create an urban utopia is a recipe for throttling the life out of cities,” he said. “It will be privately owned land with access controlled normal people,” Beaumont said. He said that two 19th century books shaped by Edward Bellamy, an American journalist. It imagined Boston, in the US, in the year 2000 as a geometrical, iron-clad, and mechanised structure that was designed to produce an “industrial army” only two megacities and London. Istanbul and Moscow are also megacities. Photo:Lisbeth Kirk FUTURE CITIES OCTOBER 2016 — 13

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